Residents of Val-d’Or Rally to Show Support, Solidarity With Local Police

Around 100 Val-d'Or residents came out Sunday to show their support for local police officers. (Radio-Canada)

Around 100 Val-d’Or residents came out Sunday to show their support for local police officers. (Radio-Canada)

Six police officers were suspended after being accused of abusing Indigenous women last year

CBC News: Dec 11, 2016

Around 100 residents of Val-d’Or, Que. gathered Sunday to show their support for provincial police officers accused of abuse by a number of local Indigenous women.

Among the demonstrators were a dozen officers in civilian dress accompanied by their families, and citizens who came to affirm their confidence in the work of Val-d’Or police officers.

No representatives of the Indigenous community attended the rally.

Six police officers were suspended after being accused of physical and sexual abuse by the women last year. Quebec’s director of criminal and penal prosecutions announced last month that no charges would be laid against the officers, citing a lack of evidence.

Sunday's rally included a symbolic march to the local police station in support of officers. (Radio-Canada)

Sunday’s rally included a symbolic march to the local police station in support of officers. (Radio-Canada)

A difficult situation for officers, families

On arriving in front of the police station, the demonstrators began to applaud.

Among the demonstrators, many said they felt the city’s police force were treated unfairly following the broadcast of the allegations by Radio-Canada’s investigative program Enquête in late 2015.

Carol-Ann Girard is married to a local officer and took part in the march.

“We are not here for pity or to play the victims but, on the other hand, it was not easy for us, for the relatives, the families,” she said.

“People automatically associated the uniform with the wrong side,” she said.

The Mayor of Val-d’Or, Pierre Corbeil, said police sometimes have to work in a difficult context.

“I think we are witnessing here a demonstration of solidarity, support and thanks or recognition, if I may put it that way, to people who are called upon to intervene in situations that are too often delicate, and also very difficult,” he explained.

Forty-one provincial police officers are suing Radio-Canada for airing the report.

They are asking for $2.3 million in damages. The officers claim the report was “biased, misleading” and its content was “inaccurate, incomplete and untrue.”

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/residents-of-val-d-or-rally-to-show-support-solidarity-with-local-police-1.3891946?cmp=rss

Aboriginals Rally At ’60s Scoop Courthouse As Class Action Hearing Begins

Sixties Scoop survivors and supporters gather for a demonstration at a Toronto courthouse on Tuesday, August 23, 2016. Scores of aboriginals from across Ontario rallied in Toronto today ahead of a landmark court hearing on the so-called ’60s Scoop. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michelle Siu

Sixties Scoop survivors and supporters gather for a demonstration at a Toronto courthouse on Tuesday, August 23, 2016. Scores of aboriginals from across Ontario rallied in Toronto today ahead of a landmark court hearing on the so-called ’60s Scoop. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michelle Siu

A $1.3-billion class action argues Canada failed to protect children’s cultural heritage, with devastating consequences

Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press, August 23, 2016

TORONTO – Scores of aboriginals from across Ontario rallied Tuesday ahead of a landmark court hearing on whether the Canadian government robbed them of their cultural identities during a two-decade period in which native children were taken from their homes and placed with non-native families.

Some, who travelled for as long as two days to attend, listened as speakers denounced the ’60s Scoop and what they called the “cultural genocide” perpetrated by the government against indigenous people. Speakers called the practice a deliberate effort to assimilate aboriginal children.

“I just want to say to Canada: We will not allow the harm of our children. We need to bring our children home, the ones that were lost, the one’s that were stolen,” lead plaintiff Marcia Brown Martel told the crowd.

“(It’s) such a harm and injustice as a human being to have our children taken from us.”

Martel, a member of the Temagami First Nation near Kirkland Lake, Ont., was one of an estimated 16,000 aboriginal children who ended up in non-native homes. She later discovered the Canadian government had declared her original identity dead.

The ’60s Scoop depended on a federal-provincial arrangement that operated from December 1965 to December 1984. The $1.3-billion class action argues that Canada failed to protect the children’s cultural heritage, with devastating consequences to victims.

“Treaties do not give you permission to take our children,” Regional Chief Isadore Day said.

Following the rally, the crowd marched behind traditional drummers to the nearby courthouse, where they filled the courtroom, to listen as their lawyer, Jeffery Wilson, called on Superior Court Justice Edward Belobaba to decide the case, which began in early 2009, based on the evidence he already has.

The unproven claim – it seeks $85,000 for each affected person – alleges the children suffered emotional, psychological and spiritual harm due to the devastating loss of a cultural identity that Canada negligently failed to protect.

The ’60s Scoop, which occurred without any consultation with Indian bands, may have been part of the government’s hidden agenda to “remove the savage Indian from the child,” Wilson told court, but what exactly motivated the “abomination” is not clear.

By robbing the children of their First Nations identities, Wilson said, they were denied the kind of crucial cultural and language experience other Canadians take for granted. The harm is “profoundly ongoing,” he said, even if the events in question are now historical.

“A moral calamity occurred,” Wilson said.

Canada, which has tried on several occasions to have the case thrown out, argues among other things that it was acting in the best interests of the children and within the social norms of the day.

As had been previously agreed, Belobaba adjourned the hearing until Dec. 1, when the federal government will make its case – if it does not decide in the interim to try to negotiate a deal to settle out of court.

Last week, Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett said she would like to see that happen, a theme picked up on at the morning rally. Speakers, including New Democrat Charlie Angus, urged the Liberal government of Justin Trudeau to be on the “right side of history” and make good on his promise of a new era in Canadian-aboriginal relations.

Before court ended, Wilson cited a few words in Algonquin which he spelled out.

“Ati kati ci wepik,” he said. “We must never let this happen again.”

In an interview, Glen Hare, deputy grand council chief of the Anishinabek Nation, said he planned on doing his part to ensure it doesn’t happen again. His one regret, he said, is once having signed adoption papers for one of his band’s babies, who he believes was taken abroad.

“I will never sign another adoption, I don’t care who it is. You can lock me up first or shoot me,” Hare said. “Our kids are not for sale, that’s the bottom line.”

http://www.macleans.ca/news/aboriginals-rally-at-60s-scoop-courthouse-as-class-action-hearing-begins/

 

Activists Call For Inquest Into Death Of Winnipeg Remand Centre Inmate

Errol Green with his son Darien. Green was the father of three and his wife, Rochelle Pranteau, is expecting their fourth in the fall. (Courtesy of Rochelle Pranteau)

Errol Green with his son Darien. Green was the father of three and his wife, Rochelle Pranteau, is expecting their fourth in the fall. (Courtesy of Rochelle Pranteau)

Urban Warrior Alliance wants WRC to review protocols around access to medication for people in custody

May 12, 2016

Community activists in Winnipeg are calling for an inquest into the death of Errol Green, a 26-year-old father of three, after he was detained in the Winnipeg Remand Centre (WRC) for three days without his epilepsy medication.

“I can just envision what he was going through. I was sick in jail myself, years ago, and it was the same. Neglect in jail,” said Harrison Friesen-Powder, a member of Urban Warrior Alliance, a grassroots activist group in Winnipeg.

Friesen-Powder said he saw first hand the difficulty in accessing medical help while in custody at the WRC. A family member who is currently incarcerated was also denied prescription medicine for a diagnosed mental illness, he said.

Guys will wait for days to see a doctor– Harrison Friesen-Powder

“Normally you go into the jail, you go to intake, they ask you medical questions. Then you have to request forms to ask to see a doctor, to get your medication and then that takes time whether it’s 24, 48, 72 hours longer. Guys will wait for days to see a doctor,” said Friesen-Powder.

Stories of mistreatment and neglect are common within correctional systems, according to Friesen-Powder, who said he hears those types of stories all the time. While some of the mistreatment is related to race, the denial of medication is a systemic problem, he said.

“The issue is there’s a gap or something not working in their system as far as how they’re handling inmates. Whether it’s physical illness or mental illness, it all goes back down to the medication and the treatment of inmates in general,” said Friesen-Powder.

The Winnipeg Remand Centre has not provided a spokesperson on its protocols surrounding inmate access to medication despite requests from CBC.

Errol Green with his daughters, Precious (5) and Saige (7). (Courtesy of Rochelle Pranteau)

Errol Green with his daughters, Precious (5) and Saige (7). (Courtesy of Rochelle Pranteau)

A rally for Errol Green in front of the Winnipeg Remand Centre is planned for Friday at 1 p.m. Through the rally, Urban Warrior Alliance wants to bring awareness to the mistreatment of inmates and show support for Green’s family, said Friesen-Powder.

[SOURCE]

Curve Lake Man Inviting All To Toronto Rally For Murdered And Missing Aboriginal Women

John Fox: Cheyenne Santa Marie Fox, 20, died in April 2013 when she fell from a Toronto condominium balcony. Police ruled her death a suicide. Her father John Fox claims his daughter was murdered. Todd Vandonk

John Fox: Cheyenne Santa Marie Fox, 20, died in April 2013 when she fell from a Toronto condominium balcony. Police ruled her death a suicide. Her father John Fox claims his daughter was murdered. Todd Vandonk

Peterborough This Week, By Lance Anderson

John Fox says too many women “are getting killed out there” including his daughter Cheyenne

PETERBOROUGH — John Fox is trying to rally together as many supporters from the Peterborough area he can for a day of action event in Toronto in May.

Mr. Fox, of Curve Lake, the father of the late Cheyenne Fox who died in Toronto in 2013, wants people to gather to shed light on missing and murdered aboriginal women.

“There are too many women getting killed out there and the government is not doing anything,” says Mr. Fox.

He believes his daughter Cheyenne, 20, was such a victim. Although Toronto police deemed her fall from a Toronto condominium building as suicide, he believes there is much more to the story.

He has filed a $14-million lawsuit against the Toronto Police Service and has been dogged in his resolve to get justice for his daughter. He believes Cheyenne was murdered. He also believes his daughter’s death might be connected to an alleged rape that occurred nine months prior.

READ MORE: Peterborough man suing Toronto Police for $14 million

Mr. Fox has also filed a $1-million lawsuit against Andhuyaun Inc. and a man he believes committed the sexual assault which led to post-traumatic psychological and physical harm. Mr. Fox also alleges Andhuyaun Inc. was reckless in the management of a Toronto women’s shelter where Ms Fox lived.

All allegations have not been proven in court.

READ MORE: Peterborough man suing women’s shelter for allegedly allowing rape

“I’m not concerned about the money, but there was an injustice here in the way our family was treated,” says Mr. Fox.

To take it a step further, Mr. Fox even asked the Office of the Chief Coroner to conduct an inquest into Cheyenne’s death. However, last summer, that request was denied based on evidence obtained during the police investigation.

Mr. Fox is now considering appealing the Office of the Chief Coroner’s decision.

“I’m ready for that now. I think the public needs to know,” says Mr. Fox.

In the meantime, Mr. Fox wants to be a champion for the many missing and murdered aboriginal women and children.

He is encouraging people to join him at Allan Gardens in Toronto on May 23 starting with a sunrise ceremony at 7 a.m. At 10 a.m. a sharing circle will be held for people to talk about their loved ones followed by a series of speakers discussing their individual stories at noon.

Mr. Fox says they have chosen Allan Gardens as the place to meet because of the many women who have died there.

If interested in joining Mr. Fox and other supporters on May 23, contact him at johnwikyfox@gmail.com or visit the Day Of Action-MMIWG, Child and Men Facebook page.

— with files from Todd Vandonk

http://www.mykawartha.com/news-story/6441126-curve-lake-man-inviting-all-to-toronto-rally-for-murdered-and-missing-aboriginal-women/;send=false 

More than 1,000 protesters rally against closure of Aboriginal remote communities in WA

Protesters rally in Perth CBD against the possible forced closure of remote Aboriginal communities.

Protesters rally in Perth CBD against the possible forced closure of remote Aboriginal communities.

By Nicolas Perpitch

More than 1,000 people have rallied across Western Australia against the closure of remote Indigenous communities in the state.

Protesters marched through Perth’s CBD and up to Parliament House where they were met by Premier Colin Barnett and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Peter Collier.

Chanting “save the communities, close the gap”, the protesters booed as Mr Barnett addressed them.

He said no Aboriginal people would be forced from their traditional lands or communities.

“I want every boy and girl in this state to grow up to be healthy and to be safe. I ask you to join me in doing that,” he said.

He was loudly booed by the crowd, which chanted: “Shame on you.”

Some protesters called him a “maggot” and yelled abuse at him.

Aboriginal Legal Service WA chief executive Dennis Eggington told the crowd it was wrong to close communities.

“Our land is about living – you remove us and it’s about surviving,” he said.

“We want to live, we don’t just want to struggle and survive.”

The rally is part of protests being held around WA and coincides with national Close the Gap Day.

Protesters cried out “shame” to voice their opposition to any moves to cut funding to remote communities.

Amnesty lawyer and Indigenous woman Tammy Solonec said the wellbeing of Aboriginal people in remote communities was an important part of Australian society.

Ms Solonec implored governments to consult widely and ensure what they did complied with international human rights obligations.

“Let’s close the gap, not the communities,” she said.

Rallies held in regional WA

A rally in Roebourne in WA’s Kimberley attracted about 250 people, while about 150 protesters rallied in the Mid West city of Geraldton.

About 250 protesters march in the WA town of Roebourne against the closure of Aboriginal communities.

About 250 protesters march in the WA town of Roebourne against the closure of Aboriginal communities.

More than 200 marched through the centre of Broome, with speakers from as far away as the Western Desert addressing the crowd.

Community member Charmaine Green spoke in Geraldton and told the crowd the Premier and Prime Minister should leave the communities alone.

“This is not a lifestyle choice, this is the way that people live,” Ms Green said.

“This is our culture, they’ve already done enough damage to our people.

“So hands off our communities, support our communities rather than putting fear into peoples lives.”

Protesters rally in Geraldton over closure of remote Aboriginal communities.

Protesters rally in Geraldton over closure of remote Aboriginal communities.

Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Service chairman Sandy Davies said the decision to close the communities was disastrous.

“I’m here today because Colin Barnett is wanting to close down Aboriginal remote communities, which is probably one of the most disastrous decisions ever been made by any government in the history of governments in this country,” Mr Davies said.

“They need to withdraw their decision.”

He said the Premier needed to explain his decision further.

“He hasn’t actually come out and given us any explanation about how he’s going to do it, where he’s going to do it or which regions,” he said.

“He really can’t remove people from communities.

“I mean he can take away their essential services, he can take away their funding but people need to remember that Aboriginal people lived on these remote communities for thousands of years before government came, we survived and I’m damn sure we’ll survive again after this government’s gone.”